Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back To The Future Day in Newark, Delaware - - - A Story in Photos

There were several events throughout the town of Newark, Delaware on Wednesday, October 21 to celebrate BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY.  Most of those occurred in the store and parking lot of CAPTAIN BLUE HEN COMICS at 280 East Main Street.  A good crowd was in attendance and everyone seemed to be having fun.

A stainless steel/silver DeLorean (just like the one featured in the classic 1985 movie) was parked outside the store. 











The Wildwich food truck also shared some parking space and served up Back To The Future Themed food to help commemorate the occasion.

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Local author MARK LOWTHER visited the store to sign copies of MASTICATION NATION, a collection of stories from the Zombie Apocalypse.  Mark is pictured here at right, along with Deep Cover at left  (a civilized zombie).

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 Newark Gaming Store  DAYS OF KNIGHT also featured the BACK TO THE FUTURE GAME a variation on the classic Monopoly game.

Also, SKATE on Main Street showcased a replica of the BTTF hoverboard, complete with levitating discs on the underside of the board instead of wheels. However, no one could be coaxed into taking a ride on it. 

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An examination of the changes going on at ARCHIE COMICS

There is a very well written and thorough article at PASTE magazine on the current revisions to classic characters and new directions at ARCHIE COMICS, one of the publishers to keep an eye on in 2015 and forward. It's quite long but worth reading.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Future of Comics, the Direct Market impact, the real consumers, etc.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are very much interested in the ins and outs of the business end of the comics industry and find it fascinating. From time to time we will link to articles that explore these avenues and go in depth on these topics. Here’s a recent article from The Comics Beat about the current state of affairs.  Lots of points are brought up, but there is no real conclusion and/or resolution suggested.   Nevertheless it is interesting and provocative reading.  Take a look here . . .


 We’re not going to post a ink to the new STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS trailer here, simply because it’s all over the Internet by now and true fans have already seen it.

However, you might have missed the cool poster that came out the end of last week, so we are posting that here courtesy of Comic Book Resources . . . . . .


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Monday, October 19, 2015

BACK TO THE FUTURE catches up to NOW on Wednesday


This Wednesday (October 21, 2015) IDW PUBLISHING releases BACK TO THE FUTURE #1, returning to the legendary 1985 movie classic with an all new story.  The original creator/screenwriter Bob Gale developed the new story, which returns to 1985 when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first met.  The story includes a trip back to 1945 and the beginnings of the secretive Manhattan Project.  Working on the first issue are writers John Barber (Transformers) and Erik Turnham (Ghostbusters, TMNT) with artwork by Brent Schooner (Batman ’66, Ant-Man) and Dan Schoening (Ghostbusters). 

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  Just as exciting as this first issue are the events being planned to celebrate Back To The Future Day in the town of Newark, Delaware - - an event spearheaded by the team at Captain Blue Hen Comics on Main Street.

   In the movie sequel to Back To The Future, Marty McFly journeyed ahead in time to October 21, 2015 in order to save his children’s future.  That date is the reason for the celebration as well as the release date of the comic book.

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  Now, 30 years since the movie debut, an city-wide effort is underway to celebrate the future of hover boards and flying cares.  Captain Blue Hen Comics, as the keepers of all things pop culture and geeky, leads the way to the future with the cooperation of the Newark Area Rotary Clubs and the Downtown Newark Partnership to turn Newark into “Hill Valley”  (the town featured in the movie). 

The centerpiece of the downtown efforts is a “save the clock tower” campaign featuring the landmark clock on Main Street.  The Newark Area Rotary Club ( will raise funds for The Delaware Kids Fund ( on the site of the free-standing Clock Tower near the corner of East Main Street and Academy Street. 

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Captain Blue Hen will have all day Back To The Future trivia competitions, sales on classic books from 1985, and the debut of the brand new BACK TO THE FUTURE comic from IDW Publishings. A real DeLorean car will be on site, and the WIldwich Food Truck ( will serve Back To The Future themed foods in the Captain Blue Hen parking lot from 4 pm to 8 pm.  

Further down on Main Street, gaming store Days of Knights will feature Back To The Future game demonstration. Switch Skateboarding, also located on Main Street will offer photo opportunities with a overboard replica and also provide a 1985 themed sale on their merchandise.  (



Saturday, October 10, 2015

VAMPIRELLA re-vamped: new blood transfusion in the works

from the official press release:

     Vampirella #1, debuting in March 2016, will feature the writing talents of Kate Leth (Adventure TimeBravest Warriors), and see a return to the character's roots as a horror hostess, as her costumed identity goes public... while privately, she uses her new celebrity status to uncover the links between silver screen killers and a real conspiracy of monsters.
VampiRedesign2015 NicolaScott     Kate Leth, writer of the new Vampirella, says, "Vampirella takes Hollywood!  In this new and twisted take on the classic horror queen, Vampi moves to the City of Angels to find more than a few demons in the mix.  Along with her paramour/werewolf Tristan and trusty butler Coleridge, she begins to investigate mysterious disappearances in the shadowy world of B-movies and the monsters who make them.  All the while, she finds herself a sudden sensation after a video of her monster-hunting in her classic ensemble goes viral.  Can Vampirella be both a cult icon on the rise and take down an empire of ghouls and ghosts?  Signs point to: Hell yes!"

     Regarding the redesign of one of comics' most iconic costumes, Nicola Scott says, "Vampirella was a lot of fun. We could actually make her modern, with some retro influence.  I liked the idea of keeping her in a one-piece but making it a leather jumpsuit with her logo embroidered on the back.  Part biker, part roller-derby.  I hope to see cosplayers in this one ASAP!"

     Vampirella is a raven-haired heroine who remains, even after 45 years of publication, one of the comic industry's leading ladies, due in no small part to Dynamite Entertainment's stewardship of the character.  Since Vampirella's very healthy resurgence in 2010, Dynamite has published two volumes of a monthly series, several miniseries and one-shot specials, and crossovers with multimedia brands and comic book peers.  The Vampirella franchise is a haven for writers and artists with a penchant for the macabre.

New direction for classic DEJAH THORIS at Dynamite Entertainment

from the official press release . . . . .

     Dejah Thoris, a royal warrior who has served as a major supporting cast member of Dynamite's various Warlord of Mars series as well as the star of several solo Dejah Thoris series, will appear in a new #1 issue this coming February, courtesy of writer Frank J. Barbiere (Avengers WorldSolar: Man of the Atom).  As described by Gail Simone, Dejah Thoris would present a fall from grace for the Martian princess, as she embarks on a self-imposed exile, assuming a new identity and enlisting as a rookie soldier on the farthest, deadliest borders of her Barsoomian civilization.

DejahRedesign2015 NicolaScott     Barbiere says, "I am truly honored to be writing Dejah Thoris, a character with such a robust history and celebrated pulp pedigree.  I'm a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and to be able to contribute to the canon of one of his most celebrated characters is really exciting.  This is a new start for Dejah Thoris, and I think our story is going to reignite the spark of what makes her great.  It's a bold new take that really captures the spirit of Dejah as a dynamic, interesting, and capable character while exploring her past in a way that fans new and old won't expect."

     "Dejah Thoris was about playing with themes and the Barsoom aesthetic," says costume designer Nicola Scott.  "Plaited leathers, swooping, organic shaped armour, and gossamer fabrics seemed the right place to start. It was just a matter of playing around with shapes and proportions until it came together."

     Dejah Thoris, a "Princess of Mars", debuted as the eponymous heroine of Edgar Rice Burroughs' original John Carter story (A Princess of Mars, dated 1912). While the love interest of the world-displaced Confederate soldier, the strong and talented royal never stood on the sidelines, often venturing into danger or battle -- and thus serving as a template for later science fiction heroines such as Princess Leia of Star Wars and Neytiri of James Cameron's Avatar.  Since her debut in comic books in 2010, she has been an adventurous mainstay at the company.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Newly designed SHADOW MAN returns to Valiant Universe in December 2015

from the official press release . . . . . .
NYCC 2015: Valiant Unveils New SHADOWMAN Design, First Interior Pages from OPERATION: DEADSIDE – Beginning in NINJAK #10 by Matt Kindt & Doug Braithwaite!

As revealed today at New York Comic-Con 2015, Valiant is proud to debut the first look inside OPERATION: DEADSIDE – a terrifying in-series event beginning in NINJAK #10 from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (DIVINITY) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS).  On December 9th, jump on board one of Valiant's most acclaimed series here as Ninjak descends into an unknown and uncharted plane of existence to recover a lost MI-6 expedition team…only to find himself face-to-face with the mysterious hero called Shadowman.

     In 2015, a covert military intelligence unit sent a team of 20 agents and one special operative into a parallel dimension. Only one came back.

     The purpose of their mission was classified. Now, out of options, MI-6 has recruited their most elite operative – codname: Ninjak – to follow the doomed mission’s sole witness – the mysterious occult specialist Punk Mambo – back into the dimension called Deadside…and bring her missing teammates home.

     What will they find there? And who will be waiting for them?

     Also unveiled today, Valiant has revealed the much-anticipated new design for Shadowman – the fallen hero at the epicenter of MI-6's lost expedition into Deadside - by fan-favorite artist Clayton Henry(HARBINGER WARS).  Unseen for more than a year, OPERATION: DEADSIDE will be the first step towards Shadowman's long-awaited return to the Valiant Universe…but also presents a new series of challenges for the wayward guardian once tasked with protecting humanity from the horrors of Deadside's nightmare realm.

     "OPERATION: DEADSIDE is the first installment of an epic plan for Shadowman that we've been crafting behind the scenes for more than a year, and Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite have built one hell of a story to do it justice," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce.  "But it isn't a horror story per se.  In the vein of the best sci-fi action blockbusters like Aliens and The Abyss, OPERATION: DEADSIDE is an intense tale of humans pushed to the limits against an unimaginable foe at the edge of existence itself."

     Featuring glow-in-the-dark shelf shelf covers on each issue of the four-part storyline, OPERATION: DEADSIDE begins in NINJAK #10 with covers by all-star artists Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS), Tom Muller (Wolf), Trevor Hairsine (DIVINITY), and Dave Johnson (100 Bullets). On December 9th, don't miss a moment of 2015's milestone turning point for the Valiant Universe as master storytellers Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite bring Shadowman roaring back from the darkness – and into the crosshairs of MI-6′s deadliest master assassin – only in OPERATION: DEADSIDE.
     To find out more about OPERATION: DEADSIDE, join an all-star panel of Valiant creators and staff – including writer Matt Kindt and artist Doug Braithwaite – at New York Comic-Con 2015 on Saturday, October 10th at 5:15 pm ET for 25 YEARS OF VALIANT: BOOK OF DEATH AND BEYOND, featuring even more news and announcements live from NYCC 2015. 
For more information, visit Valiant on FacebookTwitterTumblr, and at

Written by MATT KINDT
Cover A (Glow-in-the-Dark) by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (OCT151734)
Cover B (Glow-in-the-Dark) by TOM MULLER (OCT151735)
Cover C (Glow-in-the-Dark) by TREVOR HAIRSINE (OCT151736)
Character Design Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE (OCT151737)
Variant Cover by DAVE JOHNSON (OCT151738)
$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale DECEMBER 9th (FOC – 11/16/15)

New direction, new look, new creative team for RED SONJA book

          from the official press release . . . . . . . .

     Red Sonja #1, by the creative team of Marguerite Bennett (BombshellsA-ForceAngela) and Aneke (Legenderry: Red SonjaDamsels) and scheduled for release on January 13, 2016, will see its titular heroine return to her homeland of Hyrkania, only to find it changed into an almost unrecognizable landscape.  As envisioned by Gail Simone, the new series sends Sonja on a mission of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination when she discovers that her native people have been conscripted into the service of a Nazi-like regime.

RSRedesign2015 NicolaScott     "It's an honor and a pleasure to be the new writer on a book as crazy and colorful as Red Sonja," says Bennett.  "While I've never yet had the pleasure of working with Aneke, our phenomenal new artist, I cannot wait for us to make the big, bloody, sexy, sweeping splash in a universe this rich with story, history, and the contributions of the creators and creatives who came before us.  I am particularly indebted to Gail Simone, who has always been one of my idols in comics, who first suggested that I follow her run on the title and was endlessly guiding and encouraging as I broke into this new level of the medium."

     Regarding the direction of Red Sonja, the first issue will show that Red Sonja's return home is necessitated when her king hovers at death's door, while a dread new power rises from within Hyrkania's own borders.  The new authority is bent on defending its homeland - no matter the cost, no matter what its people become.  Billed as a defining chapter in the Red Sonja saga, the opening "Falcon Throne" storyline is dark, clever, vicious, and at times even mirthful, as the She-Devil with a Sword must topple the brutal regime, her own people.

      Bennett says, "This current arc allows me to explore elements of my favorite stories, which have always been those that are enormously morally gray.  In this case, we're nearly to 'Red Sonja vs. The Iron Age Nazis', as she watches her own people united and then profaned by a charismatic leader with intimate connections to Sonja's own long-buried past.  She is placed in an impossible crisis, on the run from the very people she has saved, torn between saving her homeland... or destroying it.  I hope readers will enjoy something dark but fun, vicious but witty, balanced between battle, romance, intrigue, and good old-fashioned monster-slaying.  I'm so grateful to have a chance to lead Sonja into this brave new world."

RSvol3 01 Cov B Anacleto     "I was thrilled to draw Red Sonja from the beginning.  She is one of my favorite characters ever, so when I was told that I would be drawing this magnificent warrior, I just couldn't stand the excitement," says Aneke, the illustrator of the new series and a self-proclaimed devotee of Frank Thorne, artist of Red Sonja's first-ever series.  "I was expecting some powerful stuff from Marguerite Bennett, and I haven't been disappointed!  The strength and the misanthropic touch of the red-headed heroine have always spoken to me, so I feel really lucky to draw her."

     With the new series comes a character redesign by celebrated artist Nicola Scott, who describes her fresh take on Red Sonja: "Sonja was a collaboration between myself, Gail, Dynamite and the licensors.  Her big red hair and chainmail are iconic, and I felt strongly they needed to carry the look but be modernized.  Keeping her hair big but out of her face seemed practical, and the idea of the chainmail tank rather than bikini was a suitable update."

     Dynamite will celebrate the new Red Sonja #1 with a variety of cover options, including Cover A by Marguerite Sauvage (Bombshells); Cover B by Jay Anacleto (Legends of Red Sonja) which will interconnect with the Cover B editions of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1; and Cover C by Tula Lotay (Swords of Sorrow). A special Subscription Edition (Cover D) features the "cute" artwork of Tony Fleecs, intended for consumers who place preorders with their local comic shops and interconnecting with the Subscription Edition variants of Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1.  Robert Hack (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) provides cover artwork for the Shared Retailer Exclusive, and a Blank Authentix cover variant is available, perfect for aspiring artists and convention commissions . Finally, Ming Doyle (New Avengers) provides a special incentive cover to encourage strong preorders from comic shop retailers, as does Nicola Scott with an image of her first redesign of the character.

     Red Sonja, known also as "The She-Devil with a Sword," is renowned as fantasy fiction's most prominent female character, formerly a swashbuckling ally of the Robert E. Howard character, Conan.  Her early adventures in the Marvel Feature comic book series led to a successful ongoing Red Sonja solo series, a celebrated run of comics from 1976 through 1979.  Dynamite Entertainment acquired the Red Sonja license in 2005 as their second-ever published title, arriving on newsstands to critical acclaim and a very receptive audience.  Dynamite has since published over one hundred Red Sonja comic books, including crossovers with popular characters including Conan, Dejah Thoris (of Warlord of Mars), Vampirella, Spider-Man, and more.

INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE reaches ten issue anniversary with stellar collection

INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #10  Fall 2015  (Aazurn Publishing)  Eight stories, 64 pages, black and white, $6.49.  Available only through pre-order at your local comics shop.  Featured in the October 2105 Previews catalog for December releases. 

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       Comics readers interested in exploring independent offerings need time to search the internet and a decent amount of money to order works that appeal to them.  For ten issues now, INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE has been providing a valuable service by featuring a cross-section of some of the best works by independent creators, writers, and artists.  

     Utilizing a unique business model where all parties involved share in the production costs, it provides an affordable outlet for creators to get their work exposed to a larger audience.  That may lead some to believe that all it takes is to agree to help with the printing costs to get featured in the issue, so there may be some “filler” material that otherwise would not be deserving.  Not true.  Editor/publisher Gary Scott Beatty has established high standards as well as a succinct mission for INIDE COMICS MAGAZINE and only works with creators who meet those criteria.

     There is no better example of that editorial style at work than in Issue #10, in my opinion the best cross-section of material that I have seen so far from this publication.  If you want to see what I”m talking about, then take a chance and pre-order INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #10.  They only print enough issues to cover the pre-orders plus some additional copies for the featured creators, so the time to get onboard is right now, this month.  It’s doubtful and also a little disappointing that very few comic shops are going to order any copies for their shelves. It takes some careful decision-making every month for comic stores to anticipate book sales from the major publishers and they have to dedicate their “shelf money” to most of those books (or risk disappointing their regular customers).  

  Here is my short summary of the contents of Issue #10, based on my preferences.  My preference is for tales where the script and art work in collaboration to tell the best story and get the message across.  However, if I can’t have both I prefer a good story.  Story trumps art, in my opinion - - even though good art can salvage an average story .  

     There are two works in this issue where story and art work together perfectly.  They are “One Dollar” and “Farm Noir”. Both stories are worthy of repeated readings and study by anyone interested in learning about the creative process involved in telling a story through comics.

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     Well known for his adaptations of Franz Kafka’s novels into comics, writer/artist/professor Peter Kuper leads off Issue #10.  “One Dollar” follows the path of a single one-dollar bill from it’s printing press origins to bank delivery to it’s final resting place. In between the bill is handled by people from all walks of life, both savory and unsavory, kind and cruel, law-abiding and criminal.  “One Dollar” is told is a crisp, multi-panels per page style without any dialogue or captions. It is simply brilliant.  

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     My second favorite feature, with its story/art one-two punch is “Farm Noir” by author/television and film producer Rick Bonn with art by animator Scott Irwin.  The story meshes the hard-boiled crime genre with barnyard sensibilities and a dash of the Wild West.  A rooster detective (and narrator) investigates murder and thievery in the hen house. 

    While I don’t mean to make light of the art style here, the following features impressed me most for the story.  The art throughout Issue #10 is very good, with many different styles featured.  There is something here to please everyone.


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     “Unpropitious Fate” by writer Paul Bradford and artist Matt Olson is a science-fiction sort featuring  a planetary civilization with a grim (yet effective) method of city management.  It’s a bit disturbing in the blunt manner of the leaders.

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     “Welcome To The Con” by writer/attorney Jeffery Kaufman (best known for Whore from Zenoscope Entertainment) is a humorous look at cons and fading celebrities.  Kaufman even inserts himself into the story.  Government agencies save money by using older, second-rate actors as covert agents to carry out risky assignments in exchange for continuing work in television and/or commercials.  Stinging commentary but lots of fun. 


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     “Horse Power G” is an amusing all-ages tale about human-animal interaction by writer Terry Cronin and artist Savannah McKendree.  The story is divided into two parts.  First, humans bring a new horse to the stables and introduce it to the other animals. Then, the tale is told again from the animals point of view including their reactions and comments.  

     Finally, if you are an admirer of fine comic art, the following stories will impress you with their artistry and diversity of styles.

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   K. J. Murphey’s dark pencils and ink are perfect to illustrate “A Wendigo Curse” , an interpretation of the origins of the legendary wintry creatures in a tale of survival by any means necessary.

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     Gabe Lamberty’s angular style and perspective is perfect for “Speed Dem” , a story blending street car racing with battles against supernatural forces.

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     “The Duel” by Troy Vevasis is a grim tale of future combat and manipulation of alien gladiators. 

There is a lot to enjoy and appreciate in INDIE COMIC MAGAZINE #!0.  Please order a copy for yourself and support independent creators.  Each issue also features short biographies of all creators and links to their web sites.  

New look coming for iconic heroines at Dynamite Entertainment

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This is a bold move, taking classic characters and making them over.  Of course, the Big Two do this on a regular basis.  But this is a first for these properties. However, unlike some of the disasters I’ve seen elsewhere I expect Dynamite to do it right.  We will be showcasing these heroines in separate articles. Keep watching . . . . 

from the official press release . . . . .

October 6, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce that beloved comic book heroines Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris will undergo bold new directions and costume redesigns in new monthly series debuting in the first quarter of 2016.  Following narrative direction from Gail Simone, the fan-favorite author of this past summer's Swords of Sorrow crossover epic, the new titles promise unexpected storylines for its headlining characters, delivered by some of today's most innovative creators.  Red Sonja #1 will launch in January, helmed by writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Aneke.  Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1 will debut in subsequent months, written by Frank J. Barbiere and Kate Leth respectively.

Gail Simone, whose critically acclaimed work on Red Sonja for the past two years inspired the massive company-wide celebration of female characters entitled Swords of Sorrow (featuring contributions by her hand-picked team of all-female writers), has created a road map for Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris that will serve as the basis for all-new series with radically different settings and situations, fresh yet true to the traditional motivations of these comic book icons.

"We're doing a monster makeover with these characters, and it's a joy to be part of this. Make no mistake, these are characters we love, badasses all; the She-Devil with a Sword, the queen of all vampire hunters, and the warlord princess. Characters do not get any better than that," says Simone. "Our mission here is to spruce up their look and remind people that these were the original female ass-kickers that inspired Xena, Buffy, and Leia Organa. They are the map others followed, and we get to bring them each a hot, new look from brilliant artist/designer Nicola Scott, as well as thrilling new mission statements for each of them."

VampiLogoWithSigilByTrautmannArtist Nicola Scott (Birds of PreySuperman) designed the new look for these iconic characters, blending classic costume elements with the functional, action-ready designs that modern and diverse audiences long to see. "It's an honor to reimagine these amazing, iconic women and be part of their ongoing legacy," Scott says.


Regarding the accessibility of the new Red SonjaDejah Thoris, and Vampirella series, Gail Simone says, "You don't need to know their history, you just need to like awesome damn women doing awesome damn stuff. Come join us!"

"We're beyond thrilled to be working with a host of talent on these iconic characters, with not only new imagery, but new directions and adventures as well," says Joseph Rybandt, Senior Editor of Dynamite Entertainment.

Dynamite's Red Sonja #1 will be solicited in the upcoming November edition of Diamond Comic Distributors' Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Red Sonja with their local comic book retailers.  Individual customer purchases will be available through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.  Fans and retailers are encouraged to follow Dynamite Entertainment's official social media channels for the latest updates regarding Dejah Thoris and Vampirella project development and release dates.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

NEW YORK COMIC CON: Archer & Armstrong begins anew in March 2016

from the official press release . . . . .

As revealed today at New York Comic-Con 2015, Valiant is proud to announce A&A #1 – AN ALL-NEW ONGOING SERIES for the Valiant Universe's premier pair of history-smashing adventurers...the amazing ARCHER & ARMSTRONG.  Written by rising star Rafer Roberts (Plastic FarmCarpool Buddies of Doom) with art by superstar artist David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-ManNew Mutants), Valiant's next flagship series starts here in March 2016 as Archer & Armstrong begin a senses-shattering trip to unlock the secrets of Armstrong's bottomless satchel…recover a lost bottle of history's finest whiskey…and square off with an all-new adversary three millennia in the making.

"Archer & Armstrong are two of the most beloved characters not just in the Valiant library, but in all of comics period. But instead of being intimidated by the brilliant creators that preceded them – Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry, and Pere Perez, just to name a few – Rafer Roberts and David Lafuente are bringing a vital new energy to A&A that is unlike anything you've seen before," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "This series is frantically action packed, hilarious yet heartbreaking, and absolutely gorgeous to look at, all at the same time.  Rafer and David truly are a Valiant dream team and we can't wait to share what they have in store."

"Since he first made his Valiant debut with a short story in X-O MANOWAR #25, we've been huge fans of Rafer Roberts and, with A&A, he's tapped into a brilliant high concept that is quintessentially Archer & Armstrong. Make no mistake: Rafer will be a major up-and-coming creator to watch in 2016," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons.  "Joining him is the always incredible David Lafuente – one of the most gifted artists in the industry and a phenomenal collaborator to launch A&A in a big, big way.  Having David join Valiant exclusively is incredibly exciting and his work on A&A might just be his best to date."

Meet Armstrong: Since the ancient city of Ur, this immortal adventurer has spent the last 7,000 years drinking and carousing his way through history alongside some of the greatest merrymakers the world has ever known.

Meet Archer: A sheltered teenage martial arts master and expert marksman that was raised for a single purpose - to kill the devil incarnate. Little did he know that this undying evil was actually Armstrong (he's actually a pretty good guy...once you get to know him) and, since hitting the road together, the two have become great friends and even better partners.

Now: Archer is about to set off on his most dangerous mission yet – a quest into the mystic reaches of Armstrong's bottomless satchel to liberate his friend and comrade from the clutches of the mad god Bacchus! (Okay, so, Armstrong went into the satchel himself to get a bottle of whiskey that he kinda misplaced and got stuck. It's like the Amazon warehouse of arcane treasures in there…and he doesn't exactly have a maid service.)

Imprisoned in Armstrong's satchel for centuries, Bacchus now commands a legion of monsters, goblins and golems bent on escaping back into the world of man and enacting revenge on their captor… Can Archer single-handedly combat the godly embodiment of intoxication himself – and rescue his best buddy – without becoming lost amongst Armstrong's endless repository of bizarre artifacts and historical oddities in the process?

Originally launched by legendary comics creators Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Shooter and Bob Layton, Archer & Armstrong first appeared in 1992 and quickly became one of the most successful comic book franchises in history, selling more than 4.5 million copies worldwide. With a devoted following that stretches around the globe, Ain’t It Cool News has called Archer & Armstrong “the best buddy team book of all time,” adding that “not since Batman & Robin has a more important duo hit the comic world.”

In 2012, Valiant debuted a new Archer & Armstrong series by New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry to an immediate worldwide sell-out and rave reviews. Over the course of its 27-issue run, the series earned numerous awards and accolades and was repeatedly named or nominated as one of the best series of the year by outlets including Bloody Disgusting, Comic Book Resources, Crave Online, and IGN. Most recently, Archer & Armstrong crossed paths with Valiant's mismatched pair of super-powered crime fighters, Quantum and Woody, for THE DELINQUENTS – a critically acclaimed, Harvey Award-nominated crossover  – and played a pivotal role in Valiant's THE VALIANT event series.

Valiant also recently announced that it has partnered with Sean Daniel, producer of The Mummyfranchise, Midnight Run and Dazed and Confused, for an ARCHER & ARMSTRONG feature film and funded a script from writer BenDavid Grabinski.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Scuttlebutt #11 - - comics news from various sources

compiled from various press releases and websites . . . . .

Dark Horse Comics Single Issues Comes To ComiXology & Amazon Kindle Store

ComiXology and Kindle release all Dark Horse books same-day-as-print 

More than 2,000 Dark Horse Comics single issues are now available on comiXology and Amazon Kindle Store including Fight Club 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Plants vs. Zombies, Halo, The Goon, Archie vs. Predator, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D. and more!

October 7th, 2015 New York, NY / Portland, OR  Today Dark Horse Comics, comiXology and Amazon announced an agreement to bring the full catalog of Dark Horse Comics’ single issues to the comiXology platform and Amazon’s Kindle StoreNow, all Dark Horse Comics’ digital single issues will be available on comiXology and the Kindle Store the same-day-as-print versions arrive in comic shops.

This past June, comiXology and Dark Horse Comics announced an agreement to bring Dark Horse’s collections, graphic novels and manga to comiXology. As of today, Dark Horse Comics’ full digital catalog is now available on both comiXology and Amazon’s Kindle Store.


October 6, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, a leading publisher of comic books and graphic novels, is proud to announce that critically acclaimed author David F. Walker will continue the legacy of Ernest Tidyman's iconic private detective John Shaft in an all-new comic book series, Shaft: Imitation of Life, illustrated by Dietrich Smith. The first issue will debut in February 2016 alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first Shaft prose novel in 40 years (also written by Walker), coinciding with the nationwide celebration of Black History Month.
Imitation of Life takes place following the events of Walker's 2015 comic book miniseries, Shaft: A Complicated Man - a six-part storyline that won a 2015 Glyph Comics Award and was nominated for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. After a high-profile case puts him in the headlines, private detective John Shaft searches for something low-profile to keep him out of the spotlight and out of danger… and takes a missing person case that proves to be more difficult than he thought. At the same time, he is hired to be a consultant on a low budget film that may or may not be based on his life, and proves to be as dangerous as any job he's ever had. But when there's danger about, John Shaft won't cop out - even if it means squaring off against sadistic gangsters that want him dead.
David F. Walker is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author of the Young Adult series The Adventures of Darius Logan. His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 1970s. His work in comics includes the series Shaft: A Complicated Man (Dynamite Entertainment), Cyborg (DC Comics), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), and The Army of Dr. Moreau(IDW/Monkeybrain Comics).
New series artist Dietrich Smith, whose work previously graced the pages of Dynamite's Army of Darkness and Vampirella, says, "Of all the great action heroes I watched and imitated as a youngster, Shaft was at the top - a private eye with a chip on his shoulder, an attitude that dared anyone to try him. Having the opportunity to draw the smoothest man alive is something I'm very excited about."
Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 is slated to release in February alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first official prose novel written by anyone other than the character's creator. David F. Walker says, "Writing the first Shaft book in forty years has been not only an honor and a privilege, it has been a dream come true. Ernest Tidyman created one of the most iconic and enduring pop culture characters in John Shaft, a legacy that has reached across multiple mediums, and sparked the imagination of millions of people, myself included."

NYCC 2015: Jeff Lemire & Lewis LaRosa Leap Forward for THE ANALOG MAN in BLOODSHOT REBORN #10 – Coming in January!

In 2016…Bloodshot kicks off the New Year with a mind-bending comic book event that must be seen to be believed!

As revealed today in advance of New York Comic-Con 2015, Valiant is proud to announce THE ANALOG MAN – a new four-part bombshell beginning in BLOODSHOT REBORN #10 from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Extraordinary X-Men) and blockbuster artist Lewis LaRosa (The Punisher)! This January, Valiant's smash-hit ongoing series leaps forward 30 years into the future to reveal a world where Bloodshot is no longer the height of technological achievement…and the heroes of the Valiant Universe have given way to a ravaged and inhospitable wasteland...

Many years from now, Los Angeles has become a post-apocalyptic no-man's land and the once unstoppable killing machine known as Bloodshot has become THE ANALOG MAN. Hopelessly outdated, Bloodshot’s taken on a new role as the protector of a small town, eking out a subsistence existence with the great love of his life – Magic – and protecting a group of stragglers who’ve weathered the storm. But when a gang of marauders arrives, the settlement’s survival is threatened, and Bloodshot is forced to bring justice to the distorted and disjointed badlands of the Valiant Universe! 

THE ANALOG MAN will also mark the first full-length story arc in nearly a decade from acclaimed artist Lewis LaRosa – a penciller renowned for his incredibly lifelike characters, intricate detail and dynamic storytelling. Noted for his acclaimed runs on The Punisher, Immortal Iron FistAmazing Spider-Man and more, LaRosa is one of Valiant’s most prolific cover artists, having previously contributed to hit series including BLOODSHOT, NINJAK, UNITY, X-O MANOWAR and many others. THE ANALOG MAN will mark his first complete storyline for Valiant Entertainment. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baltimore Con Highlights: News and Updates from IDW Publishing

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 25, 2015:  IDW Publishing shared news about some of their current and upcoming books during a program at Baltimore Comic Con moderated by IDW President Greg Goldstein and Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood.

Among the special guests featured on the panel were industry legend writer/artist Walt Simonson and  writer James Tynion IV, both presently working on titles for IDW.   


      The big highlight of the presentation was hearing Walt Simonson expound at length about his version of RAGNAROK with Thor as a pivotal character. RAGNAROK is Simonson’s creator-owned Norse mythology book, but it’s far removed from a simple retelling of the legend.  It became very clear during Simonson’s exposition that this is a sincere labor of love, perhaps his seminal creation.

      In Norse mythology, Ragnarok tells of a massive battle between gods and giant serpents, fire demons and evil creatures that resulted in the death of major Norse gods, including Odin, Thor and Loki.  Various natural disasters changed the shape of the world, which resurfaced to begin anew with two human survivors.

     In Simonson’s version of Ragnarok the Midgard serpent survives the final confrontation.  Thor did not participate in any of the battles and missed the event entirely while lost in a state of suspended animation. Completely unaware of what was transpiring aboveground, when he eventually wakes it takes him awhile to get his bearing and fully understand what has occurred. One hundred years have passed before his return, and the first six issues of the RAGNAROK series details Thor’s re-introduction into the world.





















   pictured above:  writer/artist/creator Walter Simonson

     This version of Thor completely belongs to Simonson. “Thor is just a part of a larger whole, “ Simonson said.
"Thor’s  world is destroyed. The nine worlds are out of balance.  Thor is confused and angry.”  Simonson’s version of Thor is a god who is not one-dimensional, and  "possesses a sense of humor, is quick to anger, but has a depth of great knowledge and an appreciation of courage.”  Simonson has a long running plan to detail the entire story, which he anticipates could actually play out over the next five years.  The second leg of the series is scheduled for release this December.  RAGNAROK has been a best seller for IDW and went to a second print run on most of the issues.

      Other successes for them in the present year have been the artist editions of classic works, with the Wally Wood artist edition also going to second print runs.  Dirk Wood explained that these artist editions were made possible through IDW’s connection with an art dealer who has the right contacts, making it easier to acquire the originals drafts and story boards for the special editions. The artist editions only require a small print run of approximately 7,000 copies, and Wood confided that because of the pricing on the books (expensive to reproduce) they only need to sell a few thousand copies to be successful and profitable. 

     Turning to future projects, the upcoming TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/ BATMAN cross-over is generating the most amount of buzz.  President Goldstein explained that IDW’s “good relationship with other comics companies allows for these unique crossovers with competitor’s characters, like STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN for one”.




















pictured above, left to right:  VP Marketing Dirk Wood, writer James Tynion IV, President Greg Goldstein


    That series will be scripted by James Tynion IV, who expressed excitement at being picked to bring together for the first time “the two most iconic amazing properties I have loved my entire life!”  He revealed that the Turtles will enter Gotham through a bridge in their universe, bringing Shredder and the Foot Clan along for the ride.  Neither the Turtles or Batman were previously aware of the existence of each other, and are from different universes.  Batman must team up with the Turtles to stop the nefarious plans of Shredder and get everybody back home.  Tynion said that working with Fred Williams III on art allows for “each stage to seem like a full production” and the process of depicting the story “has been pretty natural for these two distinct voices (TMNT and Batman) to mesh together."

     Tynion promised pizzas every issue, after Goldstein said “I just want to see Bruce Wayne having a pizza!”  It was spoiled that there may be a scene where Alfred gets really upset at having accept delivery on a huge stack of pizzas. 

     TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman will be illustrating the variant covers for the series.

     Other IDW projects that were announced during the panel include:

  • ROCKETEER AT WAR  four issue mini-series in December
  • Archie month, with variant themed covers in December, ahead of the 75th anniversary of Archie
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES reach issues #50 and keeps going, making it one of the longest running IDW titles. Dirk Wood said that they “are selling more issues at #50 than we did at #30, and that’s unusual.” (STAR TREK also recently achieved Issue #50.)
  • New series STAR FLEET ACADEMY telling of the early days of Kirk, Spock and crew. The focus will be young adult, making it a great entry point for new Star Trek readers.  New characters will be included. 
  • TRANSFORMERS also will hit Issue #50 soon. 
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE debuts on October 21, the same date that the primary characters traveled to in the future.
TMNT 501 1600x605
     President Goldstein explained that IDW will continue to seek out “properties we have a passion for, will pursue, and attempt to do it right.”  For example, the writer of the Back To The Future movie is involved in the comic. For GHOSTBUSTERS, they found creators who are fans and have a passion for the property.  “We have them put numerous Easter eggs in these books that will appeal to long time fans.”  
    For  FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS coming in October from Top Shelf ( recently acquired by IDW) they avoided copying the Ralph Steadman art style but made sure they paid tribute to it. 

     EMPIRE UPRISING from Mark Waid and Barry Kitson is doing well.  “We were glad to bring this great title back, and have heard that the creators are interested in doing more stories."
  •  Jame Tynion IV’s EIGHTH SEAL (supernatural horror) is in the works. 
  • A STAR WARS artist edition will debut, with a cover price of $125. The plan calls for a hardcover edition that’ll reproduce the original art in its’ original size.  A MY LITTLE PONY art book is also in the works. 
  • Under development are STAR WARS MICRO COMICS, collector packs sized 3” x 5” that will reprint all movie adaptations and include cards and 3D glasses. 
  • IDW’s board games are planning to grow.  The CHEW game was introduced with modest expectations but is selling well.  Negotiations are underway with the producers of ORPHAN BLACK to create a game based on the BBC America television show. 
  • MICRONAUTS and ROM revivals are planned for the first quarter of 2016 and later. These will be brand new and updated versions. 
     IDW is now publishing around 80 books each month. 



Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baltimore Comic-Con 2015: Contest Winners Announced

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - October 3, 2015 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is happy to announce the winners of our 7th Annual Costume Contest. The contest took place this past Saturday, September 26th, 2015 for both amateur and professional adults, and Sunday, September 27, 2015 for kids. Visually stunning costumes ranged from classic superheroes to video game and movie characters and beyond, and our contest has proven to be one of the most anticipated events at the show.
This year's costume contest separated amateur adults from professional adults, and held a separate contest for amateur kids as well.

The grand prize winner for Best Overall Costume in the professional category, and the recipient of the $1,000 cash prize, was Robert Tongue for his "Evil Tin Man of Oz" costume.

The grand prize winner for Best Overall Costume in the amateur category, and the recipient of the $500 cash prize, was Rick Castro for his "Master Chief" costume.

The grand prize winner for Best in Show for kids, and the recipient of the $100 cash prize, was Xavier for his "The Bubbler" costume.
Special thanks go to everyone who entered the contest and showed their support, as well as to our sponsor, and Master of Ceremonies, comedian Joe Bronzi!

Winners for this year's contest include:



Best Overall Costume: Robert Tongue, Evil Tin Man of Oz


1st Place: Mike Wong, Eragon the Dragon Rider



2nd Place: Tegan Feehery, Kerrigan, Queen of Blades



3rd Place: Sam Pye, Blood Angel Space Marine



Best in Show: Rick Castro, Master Chief



1st Place: Drew Carrington, Space Marine


2nd Place: Brandon Hirsch, Muckman



3rd Place: Ken Hunt Sr., Blackhawk





1st Place: Victoria Krauss, Valka


2nd Place: Alex Harrington, Iron Man



3rd Place: Brittany Souhrada, Lady Sif




Best Group:

1st Place: Bartholomew and Jennifer Macasieb, Robby the Robot and B-9



2nd Place: Kayley Marie, Sharon Rose, and John Brown, Deadpool and his ladies



Amateur Kids

Kids Prizes in the Age 12 to Age 17 category: 

1st Place: Lilly, Khajiit


2nd Place: Brendan, Ultron


3rd Place: Hannah, Bipper


Kids Prizes in the Newborn to Age 11 category:

1st Place: Xavier, The Bubbler


2nd Place: Tiz, Batgirl


3rd Place: Mikasa, Attack on Titan


Be sure to follow  Baltimore Comic Con on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, because they can't wait to start making announcements for next year's show, the biggest yet, which will be held the weekend of  September 2-4, 2016.